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POW! BLAM! P.O.W.

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The man who came to, finally, give me Internet service again told me that while he’s a long time Democrat, he’s been working all day and studying all night for a test he has to take Friday for work, so he hasn’t been able to follow the convention. He did, however, turn on the news Tuesday night at eleven and saw, to his amazement, Hillary Clinton. He then changed channels and saw her again. And again.

“I thought to myself,” he said, “What is Hillary doing on all the channels?”

“Thought we had been taken over by aliens?” I asked.

He laughed back, “No, just wondered what was going on.”

In case you, like my very nice and very busy Internet guy, have missed some of what’s been going on the past few days, here are some tidbits:

Thousands of Obama supporters were, at one o’clock in the afternoon Denver time, already lined up in front of the stadium where Obama is scheduled to speak eight hours later. Quite a coup. While I am sure the Republicans will use that fact to support, once again, their claim that the candidate is a “celebrity,” it seems to me that it speaks of an enthusiasm the likes of which I can’t remember since, well, maybe ever.

Meanwhile, the story of Focus on the Family's James Dobson praying for rain during Obama’s speech resurfaced, with one pundit wondering why, if Dobson is such a good Christian, he doesn’t pray for Gustav to head out into the ocean instead of scaring the hell out of New Orleans again, when they still haven’t gotten over Katrina?

Good question.

Apparently, while the rest of us who saw John Kerry’s speech (carried in its entirety, as far as I can tell, only on C-Span and PBS ) heard him talk about Guantanamo and torture, Pat Buchanan didn’t, and apoplectically said so on MSNBC, whining once again about the lack of “red meat.”

In fact, almost all the media continued to decry the lack of “red meat” in all the speeches Wednesday night, while I, when the evening was over, remarked to my husband that there was so much red meat I thought that Democratic vegetarians were probably all in the bathroom symbolically throwing up. Yet, we still get the media spin on everything, and it is so often completely the opposite to what we just heard with our very own ears, that I feel as if I am in an old Superman comic; in his bizarro world where everything is cracked.

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, there are 15,000 journalists at the convention but what we seem to get over and over and over is self-congratulatory whining and a lot of idiotic crap like former McCain advisor Mike Murphy assuring us that in the privacy of the ballot box, Hillary, and probably Bill, are going to vote for McCain. Oy. That’s the best they can do? Why the heck is he on the news anyway?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Russians  are claiming that officials in our current administration provoked the current Georgian crisis, which is clearly creepy, true or not. Who was to benefit? Not clear.

The stock market was down and now it’s up again.

Those stimulus checks worked, but it won’t last.

The Europeans love Obama, the Indians are waiting to see and Brazil is pissed because no one Wednesday night mentioned Latin America, even though it’s becoming a big player in world power.

But what gets play is the Hillary supporter who claims Obama is a Muslim, and the McCain camp, which is mocking Obama’s speech in front of pillars, despite the fact that McCain has dozens of photographs of himself in front of pillars.

Ahhh. Free speech. Democracy. And all that jazz.

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About Lisa Solod

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Sorry, Barack. McCain or Obama in the White House won’t change a thing. Americans have such a short attention span that they can’t see beyond a sound bite. As I sit here looking at a banner in that field which reads “The Change We Need,” I reminded myself that this little motto comes out every other election cycle and it’s nothing but empty words. America, we don’t deserve this land which we have inherited. We have spit in the face of the fallen soldiers of World War II. We have insulted the courage of our forefathers who struggled against what seemed insurmountable odds to create this free land. We blew it. We bought the lines these power mad charlatans have thrown us hook, line and sinker all for a few pieces of silver thrown to a few key states and Congressional districts throughout this land. This isn’t reality television, folks. It’s reality. Perhaps I should quote a memorable bit of dialog from The American President:

    “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve got to want it bad, because it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil who is standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the ‘land of the free’? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the ‘land of the free.'”

    My fellow Americans, we don’t want it all that bad do we? We’re such an indecisive people. We suffer from a Wal-Mart mentality. And if I need to explain to you what I mean by that then it’s time for you to pack it up and shut off your computer. Barack Obama’s 15 minutes are just about up. And in the end we’ll still be hungering for a leader who will deliver us from the place we put ourselves.

    “My country ’tis of Thee, we screwed up royally…”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Silas, you’ve got a flair for the dramatic. I’ll give you that.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Perhaps. Bottom line is that I am completely disheartened by what is going on today in America. I’m frustrated. But most of all I am angry with myself. I should have done more when I was younger.

  • Clavos

    That’s an interesting thought, Silas, and one perhaps we all should [have] entertain([ed].

    But what, short of running for office, do you think we, as individuals could have done (or can do, for the young) to make things different. I’m not disagreeing, just curious.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Well, Clavos. Interesting question. I think parents need to get more involved in their children lives. They need to monitor the garbage their sponge-like minds are soaking up on children’s television. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of educational TV out there. But how do we appeal to the inquisitive nature of the child once again? In my day a rerun was a rerun and nobody watched. A child has no attention span when it comes to education or parental supervision. But plop a kid down in front of the 4,527th rerun of Blue’s Clues and he/she is mesmerized.

    You know we’ve got a Bill of Rights for this. And a Bill of Rights for that. But what about a Bill of Rights for Parents? When did the state become the ultimate authority on how our children are raised? If anything, the state has been a willing partner with media titans in delivering substandard programming. This isn’t why television was invented. But make a buck off it, to hell with everything else.

    There are more important things in life than hoarding wealth. One is buried beneath a grand piece of granite that becomes a landmark or one’s dust is scattered into the sea. There’s one bottom line. One is still very much dead.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Copied from another thread for Silas, who apparently has not even looked at it….

    Silas,

    Ruvy, as a person who can serve as an observer being outside our borders I value your opinions.

    Thank you for the kind words. I’d point out that Daniel Miller, and Barbara Bartlett are equally qualified, by your standards.

    In my opinion, the way to go is not vouchers, not integration, not re-segregation or some massive bureaucracy promising oodles and delivering nothing.

    First of all, school is boring. It is boring because the curriculum is usually boring, and the place is akin to a prison these days. There are two ways out of school being boring.

    One is having teachers who are truly dedicated to their jobs – and treating them as the bearers of culture they truly are (as in paying them what they truly deserve instead of the pittance they get now). These teachers should be given as broad a mandate as possible to inspire kids to think. My younger son had one such woman for a teacher, and I’ve never forgotten her. She was a brilliant woman who knew Latin and Greek, as well as having a very solid grounding in the liberal arts. Need I point out that she was in her sixties and was not a damned clock-watcher?!

    The other is supporting home-schooling on a massive basis.

    Home schooling is not something you can mandate. It has to be a voluntary effort on the part of parents who are motivated to do this. There are plenty of intelligent belly-scratchers across America. Americans are not stupid, fat and lazy, as one writer here has alleged. What they are is terribly inattentive to and ignorant of the world outside of their borders. The internet can change this – if it remains free.

    Speaking as a parent who sent his kids to public schools in the States for some years, I found that home-schooled kids were far ahead of the ones who went to the neighborhood school. I wanted very much to home-school our two boys, and had I gotten some kind of stipend to replace some of the income that I would have lost from quitting my job as a Burger King manager, I would have been delighted.

    And speaking as a parent who watched the home-schooling movement develop in Minnesota, I saw parents gathering together, hiring teachers for certain subjects and setting up classes in various venues; I saw well-adjusted kids who were not staring at the clock waiting for 3:00 p.m. to roll around so that they could leave school.

    AND FOR THEM, SCHOOL WASN’T BORING!

    The neat thing about all this is that it doesn’t mean a damn who is president of the country to get these ideas moving. It takes local initiative and determination, and a close eye on the bottom of the ballot, rather than the top. These things could actually be done (dare I use the term?) democratically!

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    You know, you can send your kids to school and STILL add greatly to their education at home by talking to them, giving them thing to read, having dinner with them, taking them places…. all those things I did with my kids. PLUS turning OFF the television (having the no tv during the week rule, which I did until high school). I was also a strict parent who expected manners, respect, and made them abide by rules, who enforced consequences for their actions.

    Silas, I have always been politicaly, socially, relgiiously active. Sometimes I, too, despair of this country. But still, watching Obama last night I had another moment of hope. Even as I enter my second century I am willing to suspend disbelief and dig in once again, volunteer, go back into the trenches to elect a man whom I believe, yes, I do, CAN and WILL make a difference as a leader IF the rest of us do our part. CAN we? yes. WILL we? that is up to us.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    you can send your kids to school and STILL add greatly to their education at home by talking to them, giving them thing to read, having dinner with them, taking them places…. all those things I did with my kids. PLUS turning OFF the television (having the no tv during the week rule, which I did until high school). I was also a strict parent who expected manners, respect, and made them abide by rules, who enforced consequences for their actions.

    Been there, did that and bought the T-shirt, Lisa. No TV except for Thursday nights (ER), a strict parent who demanded and got manners (this has stood them in good stead here, where kids are spoiled rotten). In addition, every week, once they could understand English, I read the weekly Torah portion to them in English and explained the ideas in it.

    School was still boring for them, and filled with incompetent teachers and other “authority figures” who were not worth the salary they were paid. So I got involved on the school’s governing council as well. And there I discovered some of the reasons why the teachers seemed like incompetent clock-watchers (this was the attitude of the union rep), and all sorts of other interesting things.

    And that is why I liked home-schooling so much. There were no idiots on the school board curriculum committee and few regs to answer to. And the kids I saw who were home-schooled were far sharper and far more interested in learning than the kids in the public school system.

    I won’t comment on Obama. I have already, and my opinion of him stands.

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    School isn’t what’s boring. It’s having teachers in the schools who don’t give a damn about anything but their cushy, fully paid retirement at 55. (In case anyone doesn’t know it, Michigan has the best pay package and retirement plan for teachers. Please don’t consider coming here, though, because we can’t afford the ones we already have.)Lisa is right though. A parent HAS to add to what their children are learning in school. You can’t leave it up to an unknown.

    I also agree with Silas. Whoever gets in will be encumbered by Congress. It’s nice to have all of these lofty dreams of change, but what do you want to bet Barack gets run down by the wheels of the status quo?